According to Freud, denial is one defense mechanism that a person uses to avoid or minimize information, situations and problems that are too difficult or uncomfortable for them to accept, even in the face of overwhelming evidence.
Denial is reinforcing as it removes something negative. Denial creates a more comfortable atmosphere for an individual, allowing for the avoidance of (or escape from) putting mental, emotional or physical energy into acknowledging and solving a stressful problem. Everyone denies some problems now and then. However, the reward for being in denial regarding a problem consistent with liberal ideology is compounded—the person is not only inherently reinforced for avoiding a problem that is unpleasant but also handsomely rewarded by liberals for supporting liberal ideology. Add to this, the reinforcement of escaping the experience of expressing an opinion that contrasts with liberal ideology, which almost certainly involves an intolerant response such as being called a racist, and you get denial.
Just a few commonly denied problems that are liberally rewarded:
- Our failing public education system
- Exorbitant and unsustainable union pensions and health-care benefits
- Social justice
- Inaccurate and false claims of catastrophic global warming and climate change
All of these initiatives support big government and demonize capitalism, where big government is the problem. A problem that is denied cannot be accurately identified, and any proposed solution will not address the actual problem (except by chance). For some people, not using denial would result in feelings of anxiety when they accept that they are responsible for themselves and realize that no one can bring about utopia on Earth. For others, not using denial would require courage for standing up to people who will attack you for your convictions. It would mean putting energy into learning more and changing what is wrong. It might take away time from your casual lunch with a friend, your favorite TV show or a good book. Denial is a wonderful thing. But...
...“You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.” —Ayn Rand